Kona 2013 Race Report
Welp, that was a day! A tough, but rewarding day...
The circus begins well before dawn...
The swim was interesting. I had a great start, but a tactical error left me flying solo for a good portion of the swim. On the way back in, as I approached the pier, I was swallowed by the chase pack. As frustrating as that was, it was even more encouraging – I was able to get off the line much faster than I ever have before. In years past, I have had to work very hard to hold onto the chase pack. This year, although I was not with the lead girls, I was being chased by the chase pack!
A little pre-race fun... but sersiously, let's do this!
I had more fun on this ride than I ever have in any IM before! Over the past year, the focus has been cycling and becoming a cyclist. More than anything, this involved an attitude adjustment – thinking and behaving like a cyclist. By adding multiple group rides and high intensity cycling sessions to my weekly protocol, my confidence on the bike grew throughout the season. Coming into the event, not only was I physically fit, but I was also mentally primed and ready to race. I pushed the ride harder, and hung with girls that have, in the past, blown right by me, with the peace of mind that the minute or two it may cost me on the run would be outweighed by the many minutes saved on the bike.
I LOVE that bike!
I eased into the first few miles of the run, allowing my legs to adjust and my core temperature to come back down. As I built through the middle miles, I got into a nice rhythm, and just focused on pushing one mile at a time. Coming out of the energy lab, I felt decent, and, as the crowds picked up on the way back to town, I was able to begin to push the pace a bit and catch a couple of girls. I was in ninth place with about three miles to go. This is when I first saw the back of eighth place, and began to close in on her. By the top of Palani, I had my sights set on seventh, but I knew that it was going to take a hard effort to catch her in time. I threw myself down the hill, blowing through the aid station at mile 25, and using the momentum to make the pass as the hill bottomed out, and we turned onto Kuakini. A moment later, spectators began shouting, “She’s right there! You can get her!”, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. I had just passed “her”! Then I saw the green kit of the woman in sixth place. Oh, geez! If I’m going to get her, it’s going to take absolutely EVERYTHING! She’s still moving pretty well…Let’s go! I leaned even further into my stride, and just shut my mind off. I briefly lost sight of her as she turned onto Hualalai, and got a quick glimpse before she disappeared, again, onto Ali’i. When I turned onto Ali’i, I glued my eyes to her back, and willed all of my energy to my legs for the last quarter mile. The crowd was going absolutely bananas as we pushed towards the finish. I remember thinking, “Wow! It is SO loud right now!” Just as we entered the finish chute, I slipped into sixth place. I crossed the line with one very satisfying thought in my head – I had given the day everything that I had.
So honored to be battling it out with the best of the best. Thank you, Merideth, for pushing us all to a new level!
Mikaela used her mad climbing skills to get the best vantage point of the hot corner.
Tim, Jesse, and Mike getting ready for a day of cheering. (Not quite sure what Cowboy Snow is signing...)
Check out our new Umeke!
So grateful to so many folks for making this life possible:
- Tim - Could not choose a better co-pilot for the adventure that is our life!
- Mom - Your unconditional support and always open ears do not go unnoticed!
- Mikaela - Little sista! Thank you so much for helping all year round, and working overtime to make that final push possible!
- Mike - Your cheering goes unrivaled! Long live the megaphone-toting, wig-wearing, striped madman!
- Gram, Karen, Mr. & Mrs. Snow - Wish you guys could have joined us on the Big Island. Your support and help all year round certainly qualify you for the reward!
- Jesse - My coach, psychologist, nutritionist, friend - thank you for limitless patience!
- Chrissie - Thank you for making it possible for Jesse to coach as he does! (And for being such a great friend!!)
- All of the rest of my family and friends who have encouraged me along the way, worked around my training schedule and/or diet, cheered me on race day (in person or via social media), and pushed me through training sessions. I wish I could thank everyone of you, individually. You rock!
- My amazing sponsors - 2XU, Quintana Roo, QT2 Systems, XX2i, Rudy Project, FuelBelt, PowerBar, XLab, Biotta, NormaTec. I love representing and working with every one of you!!
2014, here we come!
PHOTO CREDIT: mom (pre-swim panoramic, Tim-Jesse-Mike, Mikaela in Tree), Mikaela (two pre-swim (photos #2&3)), Dave Paterson (bike), Conrad Stolz (run), Aaron Hersh/Triathlete Magazine (blog preview image).
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